Reserving Funding

As a smaller employer, who does not pay the apprenticeship levy, you can reserve funds in the ‘finance’ section of your apprenticeship service account. You can also give your training provider permission to reserve them on their behalf.

What you’ll need

You will need to know: 

  • which apprenticeship standard the apprentice will be doing 
  • what month the apprenticeship training will start

Before the apprentice starts their training, you can change the apprenticeship start date and standard. 

When you can use reserved funds

The reserved funds are available to use from the month of the apprenticeship start date and the following two months. The reservation will expire at the end of the 3rd month if you do not use it.


You choose January as the apprenticeship training start date. The funding reservation is valid for January, February and March and expires on 1 April.

To stop the reserved funds from expiring, you need to add apprentice details. 

Funding status 

There are three funding statuses:

  • active - you’ve reserved funds, but have not added or saved the apprentice’s details (if you can see ‘add apprentice details’ in your account, then the reservation is ‘active’) 
  • used – you’ve reserved funds and added the apprentice’s details 
  • expired – you did not add or save the apprentice’s details to a reservation within the three months that the reservation covers

Previously you could only have a combination of up to three ‘active’ or ‘used’ reservations at any time. From 15th July 2020, this is being increased to ten (10) 'active' or 'used' reservations per smaller employer account for the remainder of the 2020-21 year

If you choose to reserve funds for your apprenticeship training, you will be required to make a 5% contribution towards the overall cost of the training.